University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy, Tor Vergata Karting (TVK) Research Group
By Marco Evangelos Biancolini and Marco Urbinati
The Tor Vergata Karting (TVK) Research Group was born in 2002 at the University of Rome Tor Vergata. It is active in the motorsports field, from competition go-karts to Formula SAE. The group is primarily focused on applying multidisciplinary simulation tools, ranging from structural mechanics and fluid dynamics to vehicle dynamics and innovative materials. Example projects are the design of a go-kart for land speed records and a Formula-SAE vehicle.
The Formula SAE team at the University of Rome Tor Vergata is hosted by the Vergata Karting (TVK) Research Group (www.torvergata-karting.it.) The FSAE team is using academic software from ANSYS for structural design of the chassis and CFD optimization of the airbox. The airbox of the car is built using flat metallic sheets. Balancing mass flow is a concern and the group has used parametric design optimization methods to find the optimal layout for maximizing mass-flow with uniform charging of the cylinders.
The chassis of the F-SAE vehicle was optimized using parametric simulation methods available with academic software from ANSYS. The weight of the structure has to be minimized under several constraints: compliance to the rules, packaging issues, structural strength and stiffness requirements. Because of the tubing thickness imposed by the rules, strength is not a concern; the stiffness constraint has been defined to have a chassis that is rigid enough with respect to suspension stiffness. Several load cases are used to optimize the vehicle system considering load transfers occurring during vehicle handling (lateral and longitudinal accelerations vertical and loads induced by steering system kinematics), bending and torsion.
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